In just 8 weeks I will be graduating! I am so ready, y’all. It’s been a long time coming.
When I finished high school back in 2008 I knew I wanted to go to college. I just didn’t know how to go about getting there. I was 17 and my parents weren’t much help. My dad didn’t go to college and my mom didn’t want to do anything unless it benefited her so I was on my own as far as figuring it out. I got enrolled at Lone Star Community college when I was 18 and took some zero level courses to get caught up. I had been homeschooled and math was not my strong suit, I had also never written an essay in my life. After that semester I was ready for the real deal.
Life kind of got in the way at that point. When I was 19 I got married and wasn’t really focused on school at the time. I wouldn’t go back until I was 20. By that time my math was crap again so I was enrolled in a bunch of basic courses and one remedial math. I went for a year and then had to drop out. My grades were suffering because I was going through a divorce at 21. I don’t regret the path that I took back then, I’ve learned a lot from those experiences. I met the man who would become my second husband while I was going through my divorce. I was really happy with him so school was the last thing on my mind.
After a few months of being with my man and as things got more serious in our relationship I decided I needed to go back to school. I was so torn between wanting to do something quick like a 1 year or 2 year program or biting the bullet and getting my bachelor’s degree. I went back and forth quite a few times. I really and truly wanted to get a degree in English and either teach, write, or just do anything related to the field of English. Language and writing are things that I’ve always been interested in. I would get really excited about it but then I would get discouraged because of the amount of time it would take to get my degree or how little a job would pay after all that time spent in school or how much college would cost. I would then think I’d rather just get an associates degree or get a certification in something and go to work making a decent living. Then I would think of how unfulfilling those kinds of jobs would be and I’d be right back to wanting an English degree.
I finally decided when I was 23 I would just go back to community college and finish getting my basics and then decide what I would do after that. Shortly after getting enrolled and starting the semester I found out I was pregnant. I was very excited to be pregnant and was worried about school stressing me out so I decided to withdraw. Once again, life got in the way but at least this time it was a good thing that was happening to me.
I had my sweet little boy and focused on him. I also was diagnosed with postpartum anxiety and depression and all I could do to really function was take care of my baby. After being on medication for a year and feeling more stable we decided to have another baby. He was just as precious as his big brother. My husband decided while I was pregnant with my second that he wanted to go to trade school. I was happy but also a little resentful because I had been talking about going back to school after I had the baby. I had been waiting so long to go back, I was tired of working in retail. I was ready for something better. And I had been the one who had been talking about getting back into school since we got together and then suddenly he wanted to go. I just felt like my goals kept getting pushed back. At the time I was upset but I really was proud of him for deciding to reach for something better for his family.
I finally decided what I wanted to go back to school for at the age of 28. I chose to become a Paralegal. It’s an associates degree, the best of both worlds. It’s a college degree and it only took two years to get. I will also make a decent living wage so that my family can finally live a happier, more comfortable life. My husband has also finally finished his school hours and apprenticeship and will be taking his journeyman license test soon. Things are finally getting better for us.
Our next steps include getting established in our new working roles, pay off some debt, save some money, and buy a house. We are so ready to buy a house. I am so tired of living in an apartment. We cannot wait to have a space of our own again.
At 30 years old I feel like my life is really about to begin. When you’re in your twenties there’s all this pressure to figure out what to do with your life. If you don’t get it all figured out by the time you’re 25 then you’re a failure. That’s just not true. I finally am realizing that and I am excited about what the future holds.